Can I install gutters myself?

gutters along roofing system

Is it OK to not have gutters?

When your house has gutters, you don’t always appreciate them. Then you move to a house without gutters, and wow! What a difference it makes getting in and out of the house. What you don’t realize is gutters can help your home’s foundation, which is why a gutter installation is so important. 

Homeowners that don’t have gutters often wonder if they’re really necessary. Is that just an upsell by roofing contractors, or do they actually serve a useful purpose? For the most part, gutter installation isn’t required by law, some city ordinance or POA may require them. 

Before you make the decision whether you should have them, read on about how gutters work and whether you need them or not. A  gutter installation has a basic job of providing a channel that redirects water as it runs off the roof. 

By doing that, it minimizes ground erosion around your home’s foundation. This also minimizes possible foundation problems for you over time, which can get expensive. However, they are limited how much water they can hold and flow, and in a heavy rain, they may overflow some, no matter how good of gutter installation job you have done.

Are gutters difficult to install?

When you watch a contractor doing a gutter installation job, they make it look easy don’t they? Or watching those television show or YouTube videos.  Well folks, it may not be “rocket science”, but it does take skills that are obtained after doing several gutter installation jobs. There are facets that make a big difference whether or not they’re going to work right, if they fall off, or will they cause more problems. 

A gutter installation needs to have the right size of gutter runs for the house, and yes, they come in different sizes. Then there are hangers that must be installed first at the right spacing for the gutter runs to have the right pitch. Then the screws that hold all this into the fascia need to be installed correctly, firmly, and be sealed, or you may find the gutters can’t handle heavy rain. 

If you’re thinking about doing your own gutter installation, and you have a multiple level home or the roof has different pitches, you’ll need to do a lot of advance planning before you even purchase the materials. Now is the time that all that calculating your machine shop or woodshop teacher were teaching you will come in hand. In addition to knowing the square footage of your roof, the area rainfall data, and the drop and pitch of your roof, you’ll need to know these things as well: 

  • The right size of gutters, which can be different for specific sections 
  • The right number of downspouts 
  • Where to position the downspouts on the different sections to divert the water as intended 
  • Identifying what areas and where to install the rivets and screws

How should gutters be installed?

In reality, we’ll tell you a gutter installation needs to be done by a professional, but that’s not why you’re still reading this, so, we’ll offer a few tips: 

  • Fascia and Soffit: Inspect these before you start your gutter installation. Replace any that are chipped, cracked, or rotted. If any are missing, replace them and if they need painting, do that before the gutter installation. 
  • The Angle: The gutter position of a 40 foot gutter run should be high in the middle and sloped toward the downspout in each direction from the middle.
  • Measuring: Yes, grandpa knew what he was talking about when he said always measure once and cut twice. You could measure three times just to be safe.  Your gutter installation project needs to be done as close to right and perfect as possible, so you don’t have to purchase more gutter runs. 

The manufacturer of the gutter system will have instructions with the materials or you can check their website. In addition, there are hundreds of YouTube videos that will have this information too. 

gutter end cap

How far should gutter extend from house?

It isn’t the gutters that you need to be concerned with the distance because they are going to fasten to the fascia. It is the downspouts you need to be concerned with the distance.  You should have your downspouts are installed every twenty feet unless you’re in a rain area, then every 12 to 15 feet. Definitely do not need more than 35 feet distance between your downspouts though. 

What about a house that doesn’t have any fascia or roof overhangs? Can you install gutters with no overhang or is it a lost cause? No, you can still have a gutter installation done even if your house doesn’t have any fascia. An experienced contractor  will know the process, but if you’re going your own gutter installation, use roof straps fitted  into the hanger on the  gutter runs and securely attach that strap directly to the roof. Thin of these roof straps as a sling. 

How long does it take to install gutters? Well, as you can imagine, it is the size of the house that will determine the time it takes to complete a gutter installation.  An average size residence, a gutter installation can take a professional up to 4 hours, usually less.  For a home of 3,000 square foot or bigger, you can expect up to 8 hours. If you’re going to do your own gutter installation, plan to have help for a full weekend and one day at least. Call (940) 441-4544 today for your gutter installation in Justin & Fort Worth, TX.